Beyonce’s new track has us wondering, does Queen Bey get the Sunday Scaries?
Beyonce recently released her newest single, “Break My Soul,” a dance-beat track with a call to action encouraging workers to leave unhealthy or toxic work environments and to seek out work that they find meaningful. “Break My Soul” is Beyonce’s first single from her seventh solo album, Renaissance, and her decision to give such an honor to a song spotlighting mental health in the workplace makes a powerful statement in and of itself. In doing so, Beyonce raises the current standard on workplace expectations and instructs workers to settle for nothing less than a job they love. In the current environment, this means employers must address the new non-negotiable terms employees discovered during the pandemic. On the flip side, employees are expanding the limits of traditionally defined job roles, allowing them to explore more creative career paths.
The battle cry in Beyonce’s anthem is as powerful as it is bold:
“Release ya anger/release ya mind/release ya job/release the time/release ya trade/release the stress/ release the love/forget the rest”
While it gets more complicated to go all-in on the advice given in “Break My Soul” when you do not have Beyonce kind of money, you can still rally behind Beyonce’s two main takeaways:
Pursue a work environment that makes you happy.
“And they work my nerves/ That’s why I cannot sleep at night.”
“Immma let down my hair/’Cause I lost my mind”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused professionals to re-evaluate their circumstance and priorities. Employees want to work for organizations that care about mental health and show an interest in workplace culture. In fact, to attract or retain talent, 49.5% of businesses polled by LHH say they have increased, or plan to increase, their investment in a good workplace culture.
One indicator of job satisfaction is an employer’s willingness to provide more work flexibility. This allows an employee to feel more in control of their work-life balance, which in turn improves mental well-being.
The unknown, chaotic landscape of the working world during the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to allow for an unprecedented amount of flexibility. Many of these businesses had very few flexible options before COVID-19. But businesses had no choice but to venture outside of the traditional definition of the traditional office structure. Employees started to work remotely and experienced a more flexible work schedule. The Pandemic taught many the value of work flexibility and remote schedules, making a return to pre-pandemic operations feel rigid and almost unkind. In fact, LLH data shows that in order to attract or retain talent, 46% of businesses polled will expand flexible/remote working options.
In addition, during the Pandemic, many organizations showed surprising agility while transitioning to remote work. In an LLH survey, 35% of respondents even said their organization was opposed to flexible/remote work pre-pandemic, but now are actively promoting it. Further, many employers were able to extend such highly desired accommodations with minimal impact to their bottom line. Consequently, employees are weary of the businesses that have hard and fast rules against more creative workplace solutions without viable explanation. Workers become skeptical of the motivating factors driving leadership’s decision making and wonder if such unwillingness is an early sign of a negative work environment.
Choose a job that feels meaningful.
“And I just quit my job/I’m gonna find new drive”
“Got motivation/I done found me a new foundation,/yeah/And I’m taking my new salvation”
“Looking for something that lives inside of me”
Exercising a bit of tough love – “If you don’t seek it/You won’t see it” – in “Break My Soul,” Beyonce pushes the members of her Beyhive to take action and to look for a job that they are passionate about. She insists that anything less will not do, and you must work towards a job that feels meaningful to you.
While you would expect a song about quitting a job that makes you anxious and unhappy to invoke melancholy and defeated feelings, “Break My Soul” has received the opposite response. Beyonce consciously chose to pair her anthem on rejecting a toxic work environment in pursuit of a job that brings meaning to your life, to an upbeat, energizing tune. The dance-beat rhythm makes you stand a little straighter repeating the tagline, “you won’t break my soul,” as an unexpected mantra all day.
But it is the message that is the catchiest part: make it a priority to find a job that makes you happy.
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